Cold calling or building relationships: which do you prefer?
On an October 2017 webinar with Chad Johnson, Creating Sales Opportunities was a hot topic. When we brought up the words “Cold Calling” the responses ranged from – “gives me chills”, “I don’t know what to say”, “I don’t know who to call”, “what happens when I get tongue tied?” …to a few who said they are OK with it, but not their favorite thing to do.
My question – how does it make you feel when I say I would like you to work on building relationships with people in your community. Does that sound a little less stressful?
It does to me. I’m a people person. I can talk to just about anyone, and I honestly like to get to know about them. I find it interesting to know where people are from, about their families, why they chose the career they are in and so forth. Yes, I know not everyone has the gift for gab that I do, but even those who are shy tend to feel more comfortable in choosing building relationships, rather than “doing a cold call”.
Call and make appointments. Visit local venues. Join a networking group of business professionals and organizations in your area. Meet people and GROW the amount of people that know your business exists.
Who do I choose to build relationships with? Other event industry professionals, and cool business minded people in my city that are inspiring to be around. There is something to be said about being in the room with a group of like-minded individuals that have a goal and purpose in life, are experiencing success and are “go for it” folks. The energy in a room of people can either empower you, or drain you. I prefer to be in rooms filled with positive energy and good vibes.
Build relationships with other event professionals that service your clients.
Meet Heather, she is an upscale floral designer that has a glowing personality and excellent reviews for her artistic designs.
I went into Heather’s shop years ago to introduce myself (In person “cold call”) and let her know the services I offer. We exchanged cards and over time she did refer me to a client, however I really did not have any other interactions with her and we did not know each other well.
Then I had an opportunity to be a part of a special art exhibit at the Art Institute. An event planner who follows my balloon work, Maricel, was helping organize a special show at the Museum of Fine Art, St. Petersburg, FL. She asked me to be one of the featured artist for the event. We went to the museum and each of us selected a piece of art to be inspired by and then create our own piece and place it with the art at the Museum. When first approached I thought, do I have time for this? Is what I’m going to do even a fit for this event? Why would I do this? Then I thought, what a cool opportunity to have my work in an Art Museum! I always like being a part of things that Maricel does because she is a part of great events.
The piece I choose was Dancing on the Streets Paved in Gold. Made with found objects, shells, keys, rocks, beads etc. I loved the dancing people and thought how fun it would be to make them out of un-inflated balloons. We created a Balloon Pedestal for the display, to make the figures look like they were jumping out of the painting.
Heather was also a featured artist and now got to see that I created things different than what she had in her mind of what balloons could be. She started following my work on FaceBook and started referring me to her clients who live in large homes and beautiful estates. This took me from being that person who walked into her shop “selling balloons” to a fellow artist.
Heather then knew who the right person would be to build a HUGE Hot Air Balloon Photo opp for a United Way event.
I know you might not get asked to be in an art show, but what I hope you understand is that Maricel referred me to do this event because she knew, liked, and trusted me to do a good job. From that more people became aware that my business existed, and has led to great events and new clients including large event companies. Maricel is now a raving fan, and continues to refer me out because we built a relationship. I also refer people to her, building relationships is not all about what is in it for me..but helping each other out.
Last week I participated in 2 Bridal Vendor Showcases. My mindset is that I’m not there to meet brides. I mean yes, that would be wonderful to have some brides book with us! But I’m really there to make sure all the vendors know Party People is still in business and what the new things are that we offer. Why am I focused on the vendors? They work with dozens to hundreds of events a year. A bride typically is one main event (now yes, we can land baby shower, birthdays etc). However, I like focusing on the people who can lead me to a LOT of clients versus just one.
I had a wonderful time meeting up with some vendors who I have not been in a room with in years. We had worked the same events..but I had gone in early to decorate, and they went in later to set the flowers or the food etc.
Event Industry people tend to be fun to hang out with – and understand the crazy hours we work! Referring business to the venues in your area and other vendors is helpful for you because what goes around comes around – you help others with a genuine heart and they will help you.
I can go on and on about how networking with key vendors has improved my business. However I would prefer you spend your time going out and forming new referral sources and building GREAT relationships! You got this! Grow your business!
If you need more help I have several blogs, free webinars and monthly webinars on the subject of networking and sales on BalloonCoach.com. I offer One to One coaching and we have a wonderful Passport to Success Monthly Webinar Program the 4th Tuesday of every month that now comes with an Action plan and follow up Action Plan Q & A with me the 1st Monday of each month. The replay from October and Action Plan follow up webinar from November are available in your member area for current members.
Check out our resources and if you have any questions please email me Joette@ballooncoach.com
Your Partner in Success,
Joette Giardina, CBA
Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.